If any of this sounds enticing, I apologize for mischaracterizing The Apparition. It’s painfully dull, though at 82 minutes (74 minus end credits) it goes by quickly. The best scene is the one with Ashley Greene parading around the house in her underwear. Hey, this is PG-13, you have to take what you can get. The main problem is that Lincoln never makes his concept particularly clear. What was up with those moldy growths? Where did Lydia go—was she the one haunting Ben? I kept waiting for some kind of twist or revelation that would tie the largely unseen, interdimensional spirit to Ben, Kelly, or Patrick. Anything would’ve been better than nothing, which is what this limp thriller gives us.
The Apparition looks great in 1080p high definition, framed at 2.4:1. Daniel Pearl’s dark, moody cinematography is captured perfectly. Scenes inside the haunted house, such as a closet full of scraped walls and tied up clothes, are highly detailed—even in the shadows. Set in the desert of the American Southwest, the earthy landscape looks fantastic as well. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix is just as strong. The séance at the beginning thumps around the channels effectively. This is a relatively modestly budgeted fright flick, so the sound design isn’t going to knock anyone out with demo-worthy quality. But once things start going bump in the night, with the LFE and rear channels judiciously engaged, the audio is more than effective.
Warner Bros. slipped this thing into about 800 theaters in late summer of 2012. It opened outside of the top 10 (number 12, to be exact) and went on to gross almost—but not quite—five million bucks, domestically. In other words, it was an unqualified bomb. That probably explains the relative lack of quality extras. Four brief featurettes are included. One is an EPK-style promo piece and the others feature “ghost hunter” Joshua P. Warren explaining the pseudo-science behind the film’s paranormal aspects. As uninspired as The Apparition is, Twilight junkies might want to see it just for Ashley Greene. Sebastian Stan has been effective as The Mad Hatter on ABC’s Once Upon a Time and also won fans for his portrayal of Bucky Barnes in Captain America: The First Avenger. Go in with the lowest of expectations.